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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old September 21 2013, 03:24 PM   #1
Noddy
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Peter David comic book story

I've read that when Richard Arnold took a dislike to Peter David, Arnold refused to approve one of David's stories for the DC TOS comic book series, on the grounds that it was too violent. Suspecting what the real reason was, David re-submitted the same story outline to Arnold, but used the false name of Robert Bruce Banner (!!!) and added even more violence to the tale, and lo and behold, Arnold approved it. Does anyone know which story this was exactly?
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Old September 21 2013, 03:31 PM   #2
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Re: Peter David comic book story

^As I recall, it was (logically enough) PAD's last Trek comic, "Once a Hero," issue 19 of vol. 2.

Although it wasn't the same outline. It was a different story that PAD had written specifically to include the things Arnold had called out as needing to be changed in a previous story, as an experiment to see how he'd react to seeing the same type of content under a different name.
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Old September 21 2013, 06:02 PM   #3
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Christopher wrote: View Post
^As I recall, it was (logically enough) PAD's last Trek comic, "Once a Hero," issue 19 of vol. 2.
I guess you mean TOS comic as he has written TNG and NF comics after that one.
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Old September 21 2013, 06:20 PM   #4
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Yeah, It was during the DC-era of books, once the license was with other publishers David had no problem writing.

Those 'problems' Arnold had issue with were things like Kirk flirting with women or getting into a fist fight, things that obviously Kirk would never do.
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Old September 22 2013, 03:52 AM   #5
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Noddy wrote: View Post
I've read that when Richard Arnold took a dislike to Peter David...
Told in various chapters of the trade compilation of PAD's regular column, "But I Digress".
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Old September 22 2013, 11:40 AM   #6
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Re: Peter David comic book story

NightJim wrote: View Post
Yeah, It was during the DC-era of books, once the license was with other publishers David had no problem writing.

Those 'problems' Arnold had issue with were things like Kirk flirting with women or getting into a fist fight, things that obviously Kirk would never do.
If Arnold thought those kind of things weren't acceptable, it's a wonder he ever got the position at all.
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Old September 22 2013, 12:25 PM   #7
Therin of Andor
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Noddy wrote: View Post
If Arnold thought those kind of things weren't acceptable, it's a wonder he ever got the position at all.
The authors have a list of complaints about RA, but I've heard him speak at conventions many times and he was passionate that he was preserving "Gene's vision".

Yes, he often challenged the authors on references to Kirk being ordered on a diet by McCoy, and too much womanizing, fistfighting and breaking of the Prime Directive - because if that happened in every novel and every comic, it loses impact. After all, Kirk wasn't ordered on a diet by McCoy every episode/movie, nor did he womanize, fistfight or break the Prime Directive every episode/movie.

RA was employed by Roddenberry to represent Roddenberry's viewpoint on Trek. He got the position because he worked on a volunteer basis for GR for many, many years, and amazed everyone with his photographic memorie for Trek trivia.

Now, it's debatable whether RA went beyond his brief; he certainly trod on many toes. But he had a job that made him the envy of many fanboys.
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Old September 22 2013, 01:52 PM   #8
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
But he had a job that made him the envy of many fanboys.
Funny, every fanboy I've ever known has always hated his guts.
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Old September 22 2013, 01:58 PM   #9
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Re: Peter David comic book story

TJ Sinclair wrote: View Post
Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
But he had a job that made him the envy of many fanboys.
Funny, every fanboy I've ever known has always hated his guts.
Those aren't mutually exclusive. "The envy of fanboys" doesn't mean they admired him, it means they wished they had his job. And envy often goes hand in hand with hatred.
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Old September 22 2013, 02:51 PM   #10
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Given Arnold's antipathy towards PAD and his abject hatred of anything that smacked of fun, I now wonder how DC ever got The Modala Imperative through approvals.
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Old September 22 2013, 02:56 PM   #11
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Given Arnold's antipathy towards PAD [...]
The strangest thing I ever read was an interview with Arnold for a German non Fiction book for Star Trek's 40th anniversary where he actually is complimentary about Peter David's writing.

(Still pretty much dizzes the novels as a whole and Margaret Wander Bonanno for Music of the Spheres/Probe specifically, though.)
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Old September 22 2013, 03:20 PM   #12
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Defcon wrote: View Post
The strangest thing I ever read was an interview with Arnold for a German non Fiction book for Star Trek's 40th anniversary where he actually is complimentary about Peter David's writing.
That's actually a constant thing going back to the early '90s. Even in the Tim Lynch interview from 1991, Arnold says nice things about PAD's writing. He also says some critical things, saying that he's a good writer but one ill-suited to Star Trek:

here's the thing -- Peter's a very good writer. I know that because he gave me a book called Howling Mad which was very funny. But, he is not a good Star Trek writer. Not all the time -- he's inconsistent. When it's a story that works with his sense of humor, as in Q-in-Law, as in Rock and a Hard Place, fine. But when he tries to change the universe in order to tell a story he wants to tell, as in Vendetta, then you've got a problem. Because you can't always make it fit.

[SNIP]

So, I have never said that Peter David can't write. I know he can write -- he can write very well. There was a scene at the end of Rock and a Hard Place that literally moved me, and this was in the manuscript. And -- I believe it was David Stern, he's gonna kill me for saying this, who changed it. It was a wonderful, moving scene. What it said to me is that Peter's probably a dog person as opposed to a cat person, because of the scene at the end with Stone and this wolf-creature, whatever it was, at the very end... and it was such a powerful scene, and I think David changed it because... either he didn't understand it, or because he felt his way worked better. And... I've often wondered if it was not the change of that scene in particular that set him off, because it wasn't us at all. In fact, if I'd had any say in the matter, which believe me, I have never had, I would have said "Oh, for God's sakes, turn that back to the way it was."

He can write -- but he... I think Peter's biggest problem has been... again, saying "Yes, Gene." Sticking within the format. Following the rules that any writer writing for the show has to follow. Do not star your own characters. Do not change anything about our characters, because then that changes it for everyone after that. Do not attempt to overestablish background, because that's for us to fill in, at this end. Tell a story that involves our people, and has a point to it, that tells a tale. Howard Weinstein's become very good at that -- he picks his issue, and wraps a Star Trek story around it. That's what good writing is for Star Trek.
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Old September 22 2013, 03:57 PM   #13
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Indeed. Not every great writer is great at every type of writing.
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Old September 22 2013, 04:00 PM   #14
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Re: Peter David comic book story

TJ Sinclair wrote: View Post
Therin of Andor wrote: View Post
But he had a job that made him the envy of many fanboys.
Funny, every fanboy I've ever known has always hated his guts.
You misunderstand. Many of the people who hate him wished that they had his job. He wielded a lot of power over the licensed tie-ins from 1986 to September 1991..

Christopher wrote: View Post
Those aren't mutually exclusive. "The envy of fanboys" doesn't mean they admired him, it means they wished they had his job. And envy often goes hand in hand with hatred.
Ah, I jumped to soon.

Exactly. Thanks!
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Old September 23 2013, 02:05 AM   #15
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Re: Peter David comic book story

Christopher wrote: View Post
And envy often goes hand in hand with hatred.
"The internet is total proof of that." --Felicia Day

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